Insider 4/2/2010 - Rob Hawkins

This week, I’m starting the photography for HORDES: Primal Mk II. I’ll be shooting approximately twenty shots for the rules section and some army shots for the faction galleries.

The photos are fairly specific for the rules sections of the book. Most of the photos relate to the rules being addressed on a particular page, so I need to set up a shot that illustrates the point. I keep these rules photos limited to mainly Primal Mk II models, while the army shots allow me a little more freedom to showcase the expanded armies.

The terrain in each photo is pretty important because it helps establish the setting of the Iron Kingdoms. There’s often a tendency to play games on a tabletop with just grass, trees, and a few walls. The result is a battle that looks like it’s taking place in a park rather than on a war-torn battlefield. When taking the photographs for Prime Mk II, I made a conscious effort to set up scenes that included craters, sandbags, barbed wire, streets, and structures to create the illusion of a proper battlefield. My hope is that these shots will also serve as a visual inspiration to players, demonstrating what the terrain of the Iron Kingdoms should look like.

Model placement within the shot is also a concern. I strive to set up blocking that displays each model prominently and showcases the newer miniatures. For scenes with a lot of depth, I shoot the image in stages. I’ll focus on the foreground, middle, and background separately, and then merge the layers together in Photoshop to ensure that everything is in focus.
Once the photography for Primal Mk II is finished, I’ll be jumping right into the force books, starting with Skorne. No rest for the weary!